Rush for Saudi market shows G20 health

The increasing appetite to list on Saudi bourses is a reflection of the robust market performance of the G20 economies, according to a top executive of a financial advisory and asset management firm. Speaking at the second edition of the Saudi Capital Forum in Riyadh, Wassim Alkhatib, Lazard’s investment banking CEO for the Middle East and North Africa, noted that the Saudi capital market has over 200-250 listed companies and that there are robust and appealing opportunities for both local and international investors across the 20 sectors of the Saudi stock exchange, also known as Tadawul. He further stated that investors would be able to take advantage of the deep liquidity and the sturdy fundamentals of the Tadawul sectors.

Despite the unprecedented global challenges faced by nations over the past year, the Saudi capital market has proven to be resilient, Alkhatib said. He pointed out that the Tadawul stock exchange was a significant beneficiary of the continued migration of capital from the international investment community into the region in 2022, with around SR43 billion ($11.5 billion) flowing in. The Lazard CEO also noted that Tadawul was a big winner amid the global inflationary environment, the cascading effects of Ukraine, and the recycling of capital and rotation out of certain sectors and into several regions.

The Saudi initial public offerings pipeline experienced one of its most remarkable years in 2022, transforming Saudi Arabia into a leading listings market worldwide. Alkhatib observed that the sectors of those companies were diverse and catered to all asset managers, different fund managers covering emerging markets, technology, retail, oil and gas, and petrochemicals. He added that “the market is very likely to continue to be a very prominent recipient hub of international flows.”

This year’s Saudi Capital Forum brings together issuers, investors, and capital market institutions to discuss key structural changes happening across one of the fastest-growing capital markets internationally. The event opens the floor for central opinion leaders, investors, issuers, and governmental institutions and ends with the presentation of the SCM Awards.

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